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J's: Beirut has a New Diner
I was here before the opening when the menu was printed on paper and was a bit complicated... today I'm back to discover the real "J's" a year after the operation started. J's is Hamra's upscale diner serving real diner food where others have complicated their menus and lost the original spirit.
Under a high ceiling is an industrial space covered with red bricks and rugged concrete, decorated with metal, painted with graffiti and fine-tuned with light camel leather sofas. It's a historical building after all. It seems J's followed the latest trend in interior design before the others caught on. No photos, no colors but only one piece of graffiti with lots of stones and a floor made of fake light colored wood. Three distinct spaces, all non-smoking. I was happy and relaxed, eager to eat.
An American diner menu mainly specializing in sliders made of mini potato buns imported directly from the states, alongside starters, burgers and sandwiches. The other page has salads, mains and desserts. No alcohol is served here, only milkshakes and soft drinks.
Details I liked:
- The plates and how they're presented.
- Sohat water glass bottles.
- Dedicated and attentive staff.
- The funky yet relaxing decor.
- The fresh and non-complicated menu. You read it and immediately understand what you feel like ordering.
- Fire cracker shrimp, smothered with spicy mayonnaise. Large shrimp with a sweet and crispy outer. You could feel the quality of the shrimp, the crunchy batter and the sweetness that is left as an end note.
- Had a burger with my kids, the read deal... a soft and fresh bun that's not sweet or milky stuffed with a patty made of meat, real meat without the synthetic additives. The meat crumbles before even reaching your mouth. Loved that freshness of the vegetables, the sauce and burger combination as is.
- The sliders are amazing! Indeed great... superbly tender meat gently sticky on the teeth stuffed with that same excellent patty with a spread of one of J's signature sauces. The best seller would be the pulled beef which I found to be harder than expected; the meat was tasty but hard in texture.
- I recommend the chicken strips! Tender chicken strips glazed with a crispy sauce and ready to be dipped in the honey mustard sauce.
- One more thing was on my list - try a sandwich. The cheesy steak made of beef filet, caramelized onions, mushrooms and emmental cheese with J's special sauce. Good meat quality, crunchy lettuce, a tasty sauce and most importantly a very good bun. Prunelle is doing a good job in this restaurant.
- The soy glazed shrimp salad; iceberg salad, ginger, grilled shrimp, curly cabbage, baby arugula, grilled pineapples, cucumbers, roasted peanuts with a citrus ginger sauce. A huge portion of salad that's so finger licking good! Loved it!
- Holy moly! The dessert is mouthwatering - some excellent dark chocolate, lightly warmed and covered with a premium vanilla ice cream. It's not like these sweet commercial chocolate cakes you eat around town, it's a good quality molten pleasure. Two thumbs up chef.
Good food... I liked the details and dedication put into every plate. The burgers are presented in metal net trays with paper at the bottom. Metallic baskets are used to serve fries while the large rounded plates host the salads and the cutlery which is lovely to use.
Excellent, everything is excellent... I wasn't expecting it at all! I love it, loved the food, every single plate I've tried today. An uncomplicated quality diner is open in Hamra and awaiting your visit.